Mini Mission Monday ~ Organise by decluttering

Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

This weeks mini missions are about organising the frequented areas of your home by decluttering some of the excess stuff that is getting in the way. People often fall into the trap of thinking they are naturally disorganised people because their stuff is always messy. However it could just be a case of rummaging through an abundance of stuff getting it all messed up. So here are six areas to declutter that might make your day to day household operations more efficient.

Monday – Pick a small area of your kitchen ~ perhaps a messy drawer or an overcrowded shelf ~ and declutter some little used stuff that is getting in the way of the items you do actually use regularly.

Tuesday – Begin a use up challenge on, or simply throw or give away items cluttering up the space where you store your toiletries.

Wednesday – Forget the boy scout motto of “Be prepared” and ditch some of that stuff cluttering up your handbag.

Thursday – Make finding your good underwear or socks easy by throwing away the ratty old ones that you avoid using.

Friday – Declutter DVDs or CDs from your collection that only serve to make it harder to find the ones you do watch or listen to regularly. You can sell or donate the rest.

Saturday – Go through your jewellery box and declutter any items you never wear or are broken.

Sunday - Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Eco Tip for the Day

When boiling dried pasta, bring to the boil then turn the temperature down to low and once settled put a lid on. It will boil quicker and at a lower temperature this way thus saving electricity. When you think it is almost done turn off the heat and allow the residual heat to complete the cooking process. The same method works for rice. Rice will usually take 12 minutes to cook this way.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Ah yes, Colleen, we always need to be going through and getting rid of the little messy things.

    I’m excited to share with everyone that Mom has decluttered some more Christmas decorations. She has decided that she doesn’t need to decorate every room and that what rooms we do decorate should not be so overdecorated. She’s even giving away as a “white elephant gift” a globe/music box that was given to me. I have wanted to give it away for quite some time but she didn’t agree. For those who don’t know what a white elephant gift is it is supposed to be something that is in good shape but used and no longer wanted. At a party the first person chooses a gift and the next person can either take that gift from them or choose another one. This continues until everyone has a gift then the first person can take one from any of the others in exchange for theirs. It is supposed to be fun.

    • Hi DEb I am familiar with the white elephant gift exchange. It is a lot of fun. Than being said I am so glad your mom is letting more and more stuff go. How is she doing by the way. My dad is doing well. I am so glad I was able to be with him and my mother while they were away from home and the situation was a bit scary for them.

      • Colleen, Mom is doing much better. They are still working to get her meds under control so she sometimes has low Blood Pressures (the lowest so far was 101/40) but these are getting fewer and fewer. Are you home yet or still with your parents? I’m glad to hear your dad is going well. Sure is scary when our parents have health problems. Can’t believe my dad has been gone 20 1/2 years. He would be 91 in January.

        • Hi Deb, I hope they get those meds right soon. I am home now. Today we have our vacation inspection of the defence home we live in. This is in preparation for the move to our apartment on the 19 & 20th Dec. It’s all happening.

          • Glad you are home. Hope the inspection goes well. Can’t wait for you to get moved and see some pictures of your new home with your stuff in it.

  2. I think I managed to meet all these missions this week LOL! Having the last four days off, I have been picking away at different piles and things that were bothering me. The bathroom got cleaned out Friday – I have a whole bag of toiletries to give to a friend next time I see her. I recycled/threw stuff away in the kitchen, and added to my half full donate bag. I went through a huge pile of old magazines (recycled), and sorted papers on both my desks (recycled, filed, or in the shred bin). Receipts were written down and filed away. I finally got through a bag of handed down boys clothes, most ended up in the donate bag being the wrong size 🙁 Then I got real ambition and ordered a new Christmas tree. Now I need to declutter the old one, but my husband thinks he can sell it. Win-win either way, we both didn’t like it last year and the new one has lights built in it. Now I can pass along my box of tangled Christmas lights to my brother, who claims to be ambitious enough to untangle them. And I got into one of my Christmas boxes and found an entire box of items to donate. Then I gathered all my bounty up (a large bag and box of Christmas decor), and drove through Goodwill and donated it. Whew!

    Today I’m tackling the office again, doing some billing, scanning, and recycling. I have two bags ready to go for Tuesday (we have recycling pickup once a week). And I’m going to work on these cards, sitting here . . . mocking me. I wish I could say I didn’t care and just toss them. *le sigh* Let’s just say I’m working on that . . .

    • Wow Micheala, you have been busy. Well done.
      I really need to publish that post of your Christmas decluttering from last year sometime this week. Perhaps Thursday or Friday. I won’t be decorating this Christmas as we are scheduled to move into our new apartment on the 20th December. No point and decoration here and too late to be bothered there. We are having Christmas day at our daughter’s house anyway. What I do have to do is make the Christmas Pudding though. I had better get on to that.

      • Enjoy the new view – and not having to decorate! That is sort of my secret motivation . . . if I move, would I take it with me??? I’m never thrilled to decorate for holidays (you have to eventually put it away) but I was determined to get rid of whatever I don’t like this year. With my husband being gone this weekend, it was easier to make it disappear 🙂 I know it sounds like I got a lot done, but the last few weeks I have done very little decluttering. So much has been secretly annoying me, and I had no time to tackle it.I really enjoy reading your blog 🙂

    • Michaela – regarding the old xmas tree, I imagine that your husband has a small window of opportunity to sell it at this point until it is an out of demand item for another 11 months, if you don’t mind being nosy what is his game plan? I’ve been thru similar situations (though not a xmas tree) with my husband and I’m fascinated with how the male mind works in these situations. It is obviously not of any use to you, given we are from different countries, but a charity appeal has gone out in our town for surplus xmas decorations from an organisation that covers emergency re-housing (fire, disaster, women’s refuge etc) as obviously trees and decorations aren’t considered necessities of life in a crisis, but a group from this organisation thought it would be nice if they could at least cover the households with young children, is there anything similar done where you are? Of course, if you need the sale of the old one to offset the new one, that is understandable. Built in lights sounds like a great idea!

      • Hi Moni – I totally get what you are saying about the tree. Its one of those things where I mentally give him a time frame, and then if he doesn’t meet it I step in and take care of it. He has been getting rid of his personal items lately and has sold some things all by himself. I know he has personal goals in mind, and money is what it takes to achieve those goals so he is fairly motivated. I try and give him a chance, and go from there.

        However if a situation arose where I could give up the tree for a good cause, believe me that would trump making a few extra dollars. I’m not against extra money, but I love to help people when the opportunity arises. I’ll keep my ears open for anyone needing a tree. Right now the charity push in my area is about food, winter clothing, and toys.

  3. GracefromBrazil

    As I have been putting things away yesterday and today and thinking about the holidays I have had an urge to organize here and there. So these mini-missions come in handy this week. I know just the place in the kitchen to get to tomorrow. There is actually a little bit to do all around the house…that one place in each room that gets used the most. : /

    I was excited this year in our Christmas decorating! When I opened our Christmas box I exclaimed, “Is this all we have?!” in a very happy voice. I thought if there is another box somewhere I don’t even want to open it, I would just want to ship it out the door since all the essentials were in this box. My husband assured me that that was the only box! : ) It had five things in there: Our tree, the decorations, the wreath, our stockings and my olive wood creche from Bethlehem. And I love all of these things so much. (There were a few ornaments which had broken so I was more than happy to take those immediately over to the trash can. ) If we had not had problems with our lights we could have set up in 30 minutes, tops.

    • Hi GracefromBrazil, I am glad to see you have some of this weeks missions planned already. The kitchen is always a good target for decluttering excess things that getting in the way when trying to prepare food or serve up.
      Like you I also only have one box of Christmas decoration. No lights though so my task is simple. However, as I just said to Michelle, I will not be decoration this year as we will be moving house five days before the big day. Too late to be bothered at that point.

      • GracefromBrazil

        With moving I would agree that you would be thinking more of “undecorating” and not the other way around. Are you finding more stuff to declutter as you pack? I will enjoy hearing all of your discoveries as you dismantle one place and the set up your new place. Blessing! (So glad the Christmas dinner will be with at someone else’s home! I will have to look up how to make Christmas pudding since you said you would have to get started already. Fascinating!)

        • Hi Grace, I don’t pack, my husband’s work pays for a no-holes-barred removal. All we have to do is submit an inventory of what we own and be there on the day to make sure everything is numbered and then accounted for at set down. All the packing is done by the removals company except clothing which they provide the boxes for and we pack. At the other end they also unpack everything and take all the packing away with them when they leave. In the past I have always made sure all the little fiddly bits are boxed up in plastic containers prior to the move but there is so little of it now and most of that is already contained so there is very little for me to do. I have to say I am very happy with my decluttering efforts because it has made this move very easy. There are however some items of furniture and some odds and ends that I am giving my daughter which we will be hiring a van to deliver the week prior to our move. So we are as ready as we will ever be for the day to arrive.

  4. This weeks mini-missions were designed with me in mind – later this week is our annual Ballet Concert and unfortunately that has meant a lot of stuff coming into the household and as coordinator for a number of groups for costumes etc, an alarming amount of left over fabrics and trims have arrived back to me over the last week or so. I have put in place a few measures to try and limit the amount of stuff generated but of course it is a win-some-lose-some battle, ballet, jazz, tap etc aren’t really open to the concept of minimalisim. Our school does try to re-use what we can from previous years but theme does limit it a bit so between the two girls we are the proud owner of a number of new costumes. My craft cupboard has got a bit messy over the last few weeks, so as soon as the show is over I’m going to give it a good overhaul – I could write a book on Ballet Concerts! On the other hand, it is lovely to see the show and the result of all the hard work but I will have to be quite ruthless and strategic next week when it is all over!

    • But yes, I also have items in mind for the week’s mini-missions but they might need to wait until after the chaos has ended. My parents are coming up to see the show and so I need to get the house back into order, the fridge and pantry stocked etc before they arrive. I managed to get my sewing machines packed up last night and back into the cupboard which was a big improvement.

      Did I mention that Adrian got the plasterers in to do all the repair work so he can repaint over Summer? All the nail holes, scrapes, scratches etc etc. A surprising amount of them on every wall, it is amazing what you don’t see on a day to day basis. Of course, this means my house is a plaster patchwork at the moment, not really the look I wanted prior to my parents arrival but it is what it is. This also meant that we had to decide what fixings and art wouldn’t be going back up and these were left in a heap in the garage. So next week I will also have to deal with those.

      • Hi Moni, there are a lot of old home here in Newcastle that have picture rails all around the walls. I always think this would be a wonderful idea for us as we have quite a bit of art and with a picture rail you and move and rotate stuff without messing up the walls. We might have to consider this idea before repainting the apartment we are moving into. The paint is in good condition right now but it is a very matt and very white paint that we aren’t too fond of but we would rather get a feel for the place before deciding on colour schemes and the like. And you know me, there isn’t any point in replacing perfectly good paint.

    • Hi Moni this must be a crazy time of year for you. It is hectic enough just getting your own kids ready for these events without making costumes for others as well. I can imagine you craft cupboard would need a bit of an overhaul by the new year. And you will be heaving a big hugh of relief when it is all over.

  5. ‘Saturday’ speaks to me most this week – earlier this week I was out shopping and saw some pretty earrings and bracelets and was all for buying them. Then I stopped and recalled ALL the jewelry I have at home and never wear, nor have bothered with for a long time (I am decluttering it slowly). It was enough to make me walk away, and I am very glad now. Although I think it’s all pretty at the time I want to buy it, my life has changed, I have changed and I no longer spend half as much time getting ready like I used to – I still think these items are very beautiful and would be lovely to wear, but I know deep down when I wake up in the morning my focus is on what I need to get done that day, not what I’ll be wearing to do it in. Maybe I’ll try let another piece go this week. 🙂

    Hope everyone has a great week 🙂

    • Hi Jane, I understand exactly what you are saying. I see things and admire them when I am out at the shops too. But like you it doesn’t take much thinking to come to the conclusion that one can see the beauty in things without the need to acquire them. Like you I have enough jewellery and don’t need any more or even where what I do have very much these days. I just donated a whole lot to the thrift store recently.

    • Oh Jane, am so with you on the jewellery front. I so don’t wear all that I have and I keep looking at it with a view to getting rid of it, I just can’t decide how to pass it on. I’ve given away the costume jewellery away but the remainder is lovely silver and all given to me at one time or another (or bought by me in the dim and distant past) and so ‘worth’ something, but not really worth a lot financially when I watch others sell similar on eBay. And it doesn’t take up much room so it keeps going back in its little drawer (the jewellery box went a long while back) into the ‘too difficult for now’ pile, lol.


  1. […] your home on her blog.  One of the best ways of clearing clutter from your home, with the help of is by following their cut the clutter challenges, or mini missions as Colleen calls […]